Cop says cop helped suspect to bolt from station

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A Mpumalanga policeman is in hot water for allegedly helping a suspected cellphone thief to sneak out through the back door of a police charge office while a colleague was opening a theft docket.

A fuming Director Vusi Mdakana, the Nelspruit police station commissioner, vowed to lock up the policeman if statements he was personally collecting from witnesses showed that corruption was taking place.

"If the allegations hold water, I won't hesitate to lock the member up because we cannot let corruption happen right under our own noses," said Mdakana.

It all started when a man approached a Mpumalanga quantity surveyor to warn him about the theft of his cellphone from his car in Nelspruit on Saturday.

"This man pointed out a person who had just allegedly stolen my cellphone from my car," said Solly Makondo yesterday.

Makondo and his three friends followed the suspect and called the phone from another cellphone as soon as they were close to the suspect, who was with two other men.

The suspect took out the ringing phone but realised that its owner was beside him and he tried to sneak it to one of his friends.

"I quickly grabbed the phone, looked at the picture that I had saved on the screen and shouted that it was my cellphone," said Makondo.

He said his group were so angry they almost assaulted the thug, but one of the thug's friends declared that he was a policeman.

"The self-proclaimed policeman said we should walk to the police station because it was a street away," said Makondo.

A policeman at the charge office instructed the suspect to wait behind the counter while he opened a theft docket against him.

The other policeman, the suspect's acquaintance, left the charge office through the main door to an outside one, and was shortly followed by the suspect.